When the evangelical church latches onto the latest poster woman or man to make a hero out of, I always wait patiently to watch them fall. Remember Carrie Prejean? Yeah, me too.
What happens when people make heroes out of themselves? It never fails…they fall too; especially when their tales are taller than anything Hollywood could ever tell.
This is from a report on Crosswore.org:
Tony Anthony’s “Taming the Tiger”, distributed in the UK through the Christian publisher Authentic Media, has sold more than 1.5 million copies in 25 countries. On the back of it, Anthony travels the world preaching the gospel in prisons, schools and churches as far away as Asia, South Africa and South America.
In the book, Tony Anthony says he was taken to China by his grandfather, a Kung-Fu grand master, at the age of four. He was trained in the martial arts and became Kung Fu world champion three times. He then moved to Cyprus, becoming an elite bodyguard to businessmen, gangsters and diplomats before being jailed in Nicosia Central Prison for a series of thefts from hotels. It was in prison that Tony Anthony says he became a Christian. (Online Source.)
The only problem is, Tony Anthony is not his real name, his grandfather was a laundry worker who died seven years before he was born, and it doesn’t look like anything in his book is true.
From this, we can safely assume Mr. Anthony’s “desire” to share the gospel was about as honest as his autobiography. Taking that much aforethought and intent to weave outright lies about yourself… the priority here was not Christ Jesus, but Tony Anthony. My how idols fall.
Too bad 1.25 million people were not discerning enough to be avoid being drawn in by his yarns.
Special Note: Blog post edited to add the following update from the main article.
Update (12 July 2013): The Evangelical Alliance and Avanti Ministries issued a joint statement late last night confirming that Tony Anthony’s story is false and that Avanti are withdrawing support for Taming the Tiger. You can read it here.